Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (11) The Highfinch Summer Ball (Part 01)
George Vineyard lived in a 19th Century cottage in the Hamlet of Lily Green but it was about to be relegated in status to his weekend home as his clock restoration business was moving from Purplemere to Mornington Field.
“Time and Time Again”, as it was now called, was the latest manifestation of the family business that had been at the same premises in Purplemere for over a hundred years and the Vineyards had been in Purplemere since before the Civil War, almost as long as the St Georges had been at Mornington Manor.
But things were changing in the county and the only place left in Downshire that had any respect or deference to tradition was Mornington and that was thanks to the St George family.
When the Old RAF Base became defunct and the land returned to the stewardship of the Mornington Estate plans were set in motion to convert the old Ministry of Defense buildings into commercial or residential properties.
Time and Time Again was moving into the former and the Vineyard Family were moving into one of the latter.
His home would remain in the Hamlet of Lily Green, which he would return to on the weekends, but Monday to Friday he would live with his sister Rebecca and her family, who had moved into one of the Military Row Houses in Mornington.
He planned to spend weekends in Lily Green for two reasons firstly to give Rebecca family time without a lodger under her feet and secondly in order to indulge his passion for Golf.
Situated in Mornington he was actually closer to Forest Ridge in Forestdean and it was an ok course but it wasn’t Lily Green Hollows.
His other great passion besides Golf was Tallulah St George.
Tallulah was among other things the property manager for the Morning Estate, a role that had got increasingly busier with the reacquisition of the Mornington Field.
Her elder brother Gabriel was the Lord of the Manor but she and her three sisters, Elspeth, Cordelia and Corliss all played a part in the Estates running along with Philomena Cruickshank better known as Aunty Phil.
They met during the previous summer when she was staying at her brother’s house in Highfinch for a week in August.
Tally also had a passion for Golf and although neither of them were looking for it they fell in love on the Lily Green Hollows Golf Course.
However the following few months had been quite tricky for the couple and their burgeoning relationship, living in different villages and only seeing each other every other weekend.
The maxim that absence made the heart grow fonder was certainly wearing thin.
Her days at Mornington were long and busy, with new tenants moving in almost every week and the new business units were filling up fast.
Georges life consisted of maintaining normal service during business hours and then spending seemingly endless additional hours sorting through over a hundred years’ worth of clutter.
One of the families to move into Mornington effected both Tally and George as his sister in law Rebecca Vineyard and her family moved into number 17 Military Row in December.
Their lodger, George moved in to Rebecca’s at the end of January when he moved his business, “Time and Time Again”, into what used to be the old West Guard House.